Video Projection Screen Size & Brightness Formulas Cheat Sheet

I suppose it’s from my many years in the Technical Arts, but I am still frequently asked about how to determine the correct screen size and brightness for video projection. I’ve taken some of my writing on the subject and created a ‘cheat sheet’ of sorts that provides some of the basic formulas and examples of how it all works in the real world. This post will be where I henceforth send anyone asking for these kinds of questions, as the few simple formulas are eye-opening and require only simple math. – Anthony Coppedge   While we live in world with finite budgets, we also live in a world with finite physics; our budgets cannot wish physics away, so we must either determine to adjust light levels (if and when possible) or spend more to overcome the physics of light. It’s math, not finances, that determine your needs. Adjust accordingly. The basic math formulas for calculating projection needs: Determine screen placement Sight lines are paramount in determining screen location. Make sure everyone (especially those far away) have a clear, unobstructed view of the screen. In many situation, more than one screen is required. I won’t go into screen viewing angles, but keep in mind that anything beyond 45 degrees (horizontal or vertical) will fatigue the eye. In many venues, the angle of the side walls is insufficient to simply mount the screens flush. It is advisable to mount the screens (assuming front projection) at a greater angle to face across the room the the far side from the screen. Otherwise, if the screens are facing the side of the audience...

Stop Failing to Plan – Start a Content Strategy

In addition to business consulting, I’ve spent a great deal of time in the non-profit organization and local church space. I recently found that the team at Monk Development created a well-documented white paper on “Content Strategy and The Church” that I have deconstructed for the purpose of considering their research and findings. This is a business-savvy, researched white paper that at a mere 15 pages is a worthy read. Here are my observations based on their work. Churches, almost regardless of size, act a lot like small ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses; they go with the flow, opportunistically taking advantage of their audience through minimally prepared communications aimed at the most urgent needs. Even a small modicum of strategic planning would aid considerably in aligning the mission of the church with the opportunities in their communities. In the online marketing world, the emphasis has shifted from promoting constantly to mapping out a content strategy to specific, targeted people-segments. You’ve no doubt experienced this when you’ve searched for a product only to realize advertisements for that product are suddenly showing up frequently – and seemingly everywhere you go online. That’s not a coincidence; that’s a targeted marketing strategy. In a potentially less creepy fashion, churches (or non-profits or businesses) can create content that connects with certain demographics and brings them back for more helpful content and connections. When organizations utilize a content strategy to not only create an interest in/attendance of/participation in activities, the measurable results provide new growth opportunities. Stated simply: A content strategy allows leaders to consistently connect people with the organization’s mission, vision, and values. WINGING IT Of the surveyed churches...

4 Types of Church Video Venues

Once churches discovered the value of video, the multi-site and satellite campus model went from a handful of mega churches to tens of thousands of churches. With this explosion of multi-site churches, a separate venue utilized as another service style option – or even just a simple way to make more room –  has also been gaining popularity on existing church campuses. In both cases, I have found that there are 4 types of church video venues. For churches considering video venues or multi-site campuses, I am presenting these 4 types of video venues as helpful research that looks beyond the venue to the technology and logistics required for effective services. Type 1 – Overflow Video Venue Growing churches will find themselves running out of space in their main meeting venue. A seemingly simple step is to open up another part of the facility, run a video and audio cable to the room and fire up a projector and portable sound system. Voila! A “video venue” is born. Well, not really. While the concept of space-sharing is great, the implementation of the technology and the logistics of planning are often overlooked. Years ago, a church I volunteered for did this for what I’d euphemistically dub a ‘family friendly service venue.’  The reality is that they didn’t want to let kids into the main service, so they had those families attend an overflow area in their 300-seat chapel. The music feed from the main auditorium sounded great. The video looked pristine. The lighting was appropriate. But it failed – miserably. So what was the problem? Authority and leadership. When a video venue is used as an overflow area (or family friendly service)...

Church Product Highlight: Work Standing or Sitting with Dual Monitors

I work with a lot of creatives in churches over the years who spend many hours working with dual computer monitors as part of their job, so when I find an innovative product that’s priced inexpensively, I like to share it with my church friends. Today, I’m highlighting what I think is a huge innovation in something as simple as mounting two computer monitors: the Chief Manufacturing K1D220S. Personally, I am a fan of both standing and sitting when spending hours in front of a computer, but making it easy use my dual monitors in both standing and sitting configurations has been a pain (both figuratively and literally). Plus, I sometimes am in serious writing mode and like to use the Portrait mode for one of my monitors, but that too is cumbersome, even with built-in rotating stands. The K1D220S, highlighted recently at the 2014 Infocomm expo, is crazy cool and perfectly practical, a difficult combination to pull of. Some serious engineering went into this, and the ease of use is testament to tremendous forethought and great design. Here’s what I think my church friends will appreciate: Almost zero effort, fingertip-touch height, rotation, and tilt adjustments. Stand-up or sit down work modes. Dual or independent Landscape and Portrait rotation. Built-in hidden cable management. Super easy installation and quick-release levers. Check out the pictures and video below that demonstrate this particular model. They also offer wall-mount and pole-mount options (see those here). I’ve long been a fan of Chief, and this latest innovation continues to impress me. Plus, at less than $300, this is a tremendous value and significant productivity-enhancer for church staff...

Making Your Church Website Mobile Friendly

*Latest update: June 2014 It’s hard to go anywhere (including church) where people are not pulling out their phones for more than calls. We’re clearly a mobile culture with habits now firmly entrenched in anytime, anywhere access. Churches must, at a minimum, make a mobile version of their websites for these small screens. For those pastors wanting some stats to back this up, it’s helpful to note the following: 94% of smartphone users have searched for local info – including your church. *[1] 67% (and climbing) of mobile users are now smartphone users (159.8 million people in the U.S. own smartphones as of October 2013). *[4] 66% of smartphone users visited an organization in person after viewing a website. *[1] 90% of smartphone users acted within 24 hours of viewing the website. *[1] 73% of mobile searches trigger additional actions, such as continued research (36%) and in-person visits (25%) *[2] 57% of mobile users won’t recommend an organization based on a poorly designed mobile site. *[1] 37% of all digital media time is spent on mobile *[3] But where to start? Pastor’s don’t need to bother trying to keep up with the technology, but they do need to empower their staff/volunteer web team to ensure their church websites are mobile friendly. 6 quick checks any pastor can do: 1) Does the website load fast? Mobile phones are not always on Wi-Fi, so under 3 seconds load time is the goal. 2) Is the text big enough to read without zooming? The only acceptable answer is “yes”. 3) Is navigation simple and obvious? Less is more with only a few, obvious choices for most mobile websites....

REVIEW: Shift Worship App – DIY Church Stills & Video Loops

One of the young men I had the pleasure of mentoring and encouraging over the years is Camron Ware, today’s leading expert on Environmental Projection in churches. Camron has been a strong proponent of curating your own content for use in worship services on his blog, and has helped countless churches leverage lighting and video technology in surprisingly affordable ways. Back when a few of us church tech directors were using $100k+ projection systems to achieve high-end environmental projection, Camron started finding ways to do it on the cheap. He innovated, and today churches are better for his DIY mindset and hard work ethic. So, when Camron asked me to check out a new mobile app called “Shift Worship” that he helped develop, I was more than a little excited to try it out. The Shift app’s purpose is to allow anyone to capture still images and edit and manipulate them for use as  backgrounds for church presentation software (song lyrics, sermon notes, etc.) as stills or as motion graphics. There are plenty of apps for editing photos, but one that includes looping video options is pretty hard to find; and one that is made for churches and allows for easy curation – well, this is in a class of its own. What’s Great Simplicity is the key of any great app, and Shift has done the understated very well: it needs no instruction to start using it, thanks to a built-in step-by-step interface. Powerful features are equally important, and this app is well and truly loaded with the kind of power that rivals it with some of the better photo...